It is quite something to watch the dramz unfold over at United. I said at the time signing Cristiano was a disaster move, I called it their Willian moment, but to be honest, it’s such a massive story it’s kind of looking more like Willian + Auba + Ozil all in one MEGA hit.
I’d love to think this horrendous show of selfishness from CR7 is going to be a disruptor, but the reality is, it’ll serve two purposes that work for United.
- They have to terminate his contract. CR7 only cares about one person, that is himself. He’s soiled an incredible legacy in a bid to get an exit from his deal. The problem here is that’ll free £600k a week from the United and the move is actually a godsend for EtH.
- These sorts of blow-ups actually tend to work better for everyone bar the person causing it. EtH is a new manager, he’s untested at the highest level, and this gives him the chance to show his strength and set standards in a shitty dressing room. When Ronaldo is axed, it will tell the strong players bad behavior will be punished, and it’ll tell the dossers their card is marked if they don’t play by the rules.
It’s all a bit sad really. Ronaldo butchered OGS because he can’t play in a modern system or run like a modern striker needs to. The man only cares about himself and he’s basically killed two clubs in a row with his ‘me, me, me’ attitude to the game.
… but it’s been really funny.
Arsenal fans have been through this on a number of occasions and never regretted it.
The pundits said we’d fail without Ozil, we didn’t.
They said we’d fail without Auba, we didn’t.
Modern football requires 24 players all pulling in the same direction, all bought into the system, all willing to go to war for the team over themselves.
Arsenal has that now. That’s why we’ve taken 37 points from 42 this season. This is the reason we’re in the conversations for the title.
The problem United and Chelsea are going to have is their fans struggle with the idea of a process. Remember our fans complaining about the word ‘project’? Remember all the idiots scoffing at ‘trust the process’? The noise around a club when it’s going through the motions of getting back to the top is solely occupied by people who don’t have a fucking clue how to build something.
Partly, that is down to what they’ve seen in the past.
Chelsea came in as the richest club in the world, spent all the money, won things.
City didn’t do that right away, but they eventually got it right when they hired top people at every level at the club, and spent their mountain of cash in a smart way.
The Premier League now is of such a high level, you can’t just hire Carlo, Conte, Mourinho, or Thomas Tuchel and hope they’ll land instant success. The superstar manager genre is a dying one. Tuchel, one of the best in the game, could not thrive at a club that forced him to bid for Cristiano. EtH is the Technical Director at United, he’s blowing £160m on two players he knows, that isn’t smart business and it’ll make it very hard for them to succeed.
The best clubs in the league have a clear identity, they empower top people in every position to do specialist jobs, there’s a strategy and it’s stuck to… if the best clubs, with the most money, are thinking long-term… the idea you can succeed with a short-term view is farcical.
Just look at Spurs. They hired a short-term manager who threatens to quit every other week. He has short-term tastes in players. He plays terrible football. He will burn Spurs to the ground and leave them in worse shape than he found them. A chunk of noisy no-nothings begged for that at Arsenal. That strategy will not fly in the Premier League and Daniel Levy is going to learn the hard way that he has to take his medicine and get back to the basics > A sustainable model of football that is built with a 5-year view in mind, not a 12-month one.
Arsenal fans took their medicine, the fans in the stadium supported the players through some VERY rough moments, now we have our reward.
I said at the beginning of the season, enjoy the journey because it’ll be more fun than defending a throne. I didn’t expect there would be a 36% of taking the throne this season. We are ahead of schedule, which is why we need to really temper getting too excited.
… but there are things rumbling that Arsenal will be paying attention to.
Pep G is going to leave the City at some point and take a job at the international level. That could be at the end of this season. If that happens, whoever comes in later will be the Unai Emery hire, and standards will drop. Mikel Arteta will be in the conversation for that job… he’ll get offered a bag of cash AND a huge pay bump. But he shouldn’t take it. Arsenal will be ready to dominate or at least have a crack at taking the crown.
That’s where we are people, we took some pain, but we are in prime position with the youngest squad in the league.
Right, now listen to my podcast.